This we got from Deadline: “Former ToonBox exec Jay Ahn [The Nut Job] and animation industry veteran Chris Henderson [Disney’s 101 Dalmatians TV series] have launched Astro-Nomical Entertainment, a development and production company aiming to make high-quality independent animated family films. Its first project in the works is the feature film Mean Margaret, based on the children’s book by Tor Seidler [A Rat’s Tale, The Wainscot Weasel]. Mulan co-director Barry Cook is in talks to direct… The Mean Margaret books center on a cranky toddler from a family of nine who is taken in by two woodchucks and raised as their own among a community of wacky animal characters.”
image c. 2016 Astro-Nomical Entertainment
Amy Wascher is a sculptor and mold-maker who works extensively with Super-Sculpey. Of late her subjects have been leaning towards pop culture in general, and cartoons in particular. And yes, that means funny animals too. Visit her web site, ClayBrushes.com, to see her current stuff plus what she’s working on now.
image c. 2016 by Amy Wascher
A new publication from Create Space: Dinosaur HeRAWRsies — A Coloring Book for Dinosaur Fans of All Ages. “Fun and educational, this pun-filled collection features some popular dinosaurs as well as recent discoveries! Includes familiar favorites such as T. Rex and Triceratops, plus newly discovered dinosaurs like Aquilops, Tarchia, and Prestosuchus. Includes fun facts about each dinosaur, as well as funny visual puns and geeky references.” The title itself is a reference to The Dinosaur Heresies, a famous work of non-fiction by paleontologist and Red Raptor creator Robert T. Bakker. On the other paw, this new coloring book was written and illustrated by Chandra Reyer and Jennifer Nolan — and it’s available now in paperback on Amazon. You can also visit Ms. Reyer’s personal web site to see more of her fanciful illustrations and color works.
image c. 2016 Chandra Reyer / Jennifer Nolan
Among the many categories of stuff that one will find at San Diego Comic Con are some truly strange toys, models, and action figures. Among those you will find Munky King, a Los Angeles-based company that specializes in toy design and animation production. And yes, several of their designs (but not all, by far!) do in fact deal with monkeys. Not very happy monkeys either, it seems. Not very happy bears and (ahem) very happy cats also come into play. If you’re an adult (seriously!) take a look at their web site for more of their current designs.
image c. 2016 Munky King
Leslie Levings is a sculptor and artist who created a line of colorful and imaginative clay creatures known as Beastlies before she even started high school. Now she’s all grown up — and she creates them full time! Each individual beastlie is a unique creation out of clay, made by hand. Most of them aren’t based on any recognizable animal species, but they are most certainly non-human characters with a lot of personality. Visit her web site to see her currently available models, and follow the link to her gallery of previous designs.
image c. 2016 by Leslie Levings
More from Comic Con… Thanks to Cartoon Brew, we’ve learned that Marvel Studios have hired Passion Pictures to create a series of Rocket Raccoon and Groot animated shorts to be shown on Disney XD. “The shorts are being directed by Arnaud Delord, who is known for creating game cinematics with his creative partner Jérôme Combe under the moniker Arnaud & Jerome.” No date is set for the new shorts to be released, but the Cartoon Brew article has the test footage that Marvel recently showed. Interestingly, Passion Pictures also animated the well known “Meerkat” series of commercials for CompareTheMarket.com.
image c. 2016 Marvel Studios / Passion Pictures
Your con-trotting ed-otter did not get a chance to attend the Disney Comics panel at San Diego Comic Con, but he found out some interesting news from people who did. Drew Taylor of Oh My Disney writes, “Yesterday at San Diego Comic Con, there was a fascinating panel centering on The Dynamic World of Disney Comics. The panel was moderated by Gianfranco Cordara, Publisher for Global Magazines and Comics for Disney Publishing Worldwide and included Daron Nefcy, creator of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Mike Siglain, creative director, Lucasfilm at Disney Publishing, and Roberto Santillo, Director, Art Development and Academia Disney. Attendees got an inside look at how fan-favorite stories, characters, and films are adapted for modern comic book audiences.” So what’s the big deal? Simply put: It appears that Disney plans on putting out a new comic book series based on Zootopia, which will continue the story from the end of the film as well as introducing new characters and new environments. When, you ask?? No precise date was given but it was hinted it could be as early as next year. Follow the link over to Oh My Disney to check out the complete article. We promise: You’ll learn more when we do!
image c. 2016 Walt Disney Animation
Not really anthropomorphic per ce, but certainly a fine specimen of animal art. Magnetic Press have released the latest edition of the European hardcover graphic novel series of wildlife adventures called Love. The latest, Love Volume 3, is about The Lion. (Following Volume 1: The Tiger and Volume 2: The Fox.) “The third volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, this volume focuses on a solitary Lion as it wanders the plains of Africa, handling the daily hunt, and vicious rivalry, without a Pride of its own. The circle of Life takes center stage in a world where predator and prey trade places on a regular basis, and family is something worth fighting – and dying – for.” Ha! We see what you did there! Order it now at Comixology. [Off to San Diego! We’ll see you all next week.]
image c. 2016 Magnetic Press